Broadcast Graphics Expert Phil Carmichael to Host Bannister Lake Real-Time Data Webinar

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce today that industry expert Phil Carmichael will host a 30-minute product education webinar that will specifically look at various methods to integrate real-time data into graphics engines. The webinar will explore how Bannister Lake’s Chameleon plays an important role to streamline real-time data workflows and open new visualization possibilities for broadcast graphics professionals. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, July 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific.

Phil Carmichael is a recognized industry authority on the broadcast graphics production and workflow process. He is a former graphic designer and operator for the CBC who was actively involved in sports production. He is also a former pre-sales specialist for ChyronHego.

Broadcasters turn to Chameleon to provide a complete, stand alone, real-time data solution that covers all their requirements including news, sports, financial, elections, traffic and more. The same solution provides a comprehensive on-air branding solution which includes bugs, snipes, promos and coming up boards. As the industry struggles with identifying new revenue opportunities, Chameleon provides new distribution outlets for real-time data including OTT, digital signage, information channels, special events and online. With elections only a few months away, Chameleon provides an easy to use election system alternative to integrate results directly into graphics engines, HTML5 or NDI.

“Real-time data has always kept audiences engaged but aggregating and managing that data and integrating it into graphics engines has often been challenging. Chameleon streamlines that entire process and provides a new approach to data-driven graphics”, said Phil Carmichael.

The webinar will explore the various content types Chameleon works with and how they integrate into today’s most popular graphics engines. As a platform agnostic solution, Chameleon can be used by any broadcaster or by producers working online. Carmichael will demonstrate how Chameleon powers real-time tickers, and full frame graphics incorporating up-to-the-second news and information content.

Real-time data provides producers, engineers, and management working in broadcast, and streaming media with unprecedented ways to tell stories, leverage automation, and expand their reach. Please join Phil Carmichael and Bannister Lake to learn more about these exciting opportunities. To register for the webinar please visit https://bannisterlake.com/webinar-registration/

Bannister Lake Announces Partnership with Traffic Camera Data and Service Provider Vizzion

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce today it has entered into a partnership with Vancouver-based traffic camera data aggregator, Vizzion.  Vizzion is an industry-leading traffic camera data service featuring over 64,000 traffic cameras in 43 countries. Working with over 200 national and regional camera partners in more than 600 markets, Vizzion provides visual verification of traffic flow, traffic incidents, and weather-related road conditions. Through an exclusive partnership with one of North America’s largest internet-connected dashcam companies, Vizzion also supplies imagery from on-vehicle cameras across North America.

Bannister Lake has developed and implemented a data parser for Vizzion data that incorporates traffic camera feeds and mapping into its industry-leading Chameleon data aggregation and management solution. Using Chameleon, clients will be able to strategically isolate specific Vizzion camera feeds and add them to their on-air displays. Clients can also leverage Chameleon’s BLADE RESTful API to strategically distribute traffic cameras to a variety of endpoints including online, mobile, OTT, and web widgets.

Vizzion’s traffic camera content compliments Bannister Lake’s already existing real-time transit data feeds, creating a valuable transportation information solution for viewers. Chameleon clients can create and distribute a wide range of regional, local, and hyper-local information services by combining transportation information with editorial content such as local news, school closings and events calendars.

“Real-time traffic is an important content source and having access to Vizzion’s vast database of camera sources promotes a valuable editorial and business opportunity for Chameleon clients. We look forward to working with Vizzion as they continue to develop their products and services”, said Georg Hentsch, president, Bannister Lake.

“Bannister Lake’s Chameleon solution provides an innovative way to extend Vizzion’s reach to different platforms. The addition of our traffic camera database to Bannister Lake’s data sources will provide Chameleon users working in both broadcast and digital signage with a great way to connect with audiences and advertisers”, said Sean Beaudoin, Account Manager, Vizzion.

Bannister Lake is committed to creating software solutions that fully leverage real-time data. By fully utilizing its expertise in development, databases, APIs and applications, Bannister Lake creates solutions that engage audiences, attract advertising revenue and leverage automation.

Bannister Lake to Present Webinar Focusing on Streaming and Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce today that it will be host a 30-minute product education webinar that will specifically look at real-time data and streaming. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 30 at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific. The webinar will examine Chameleon’s unique capabilities and how they apply to the ever-expanding world of streaming media.  

Chameleon is a multi-module, web-based, real-time data management solution, popular in the broadcast, OTT, and signage sectors. As more and more broadcasters, content and event producers, venue managers and digital signage operators turn to streaming, the integration of real-time data has become a critical editorial component. Bannister Lake has developed a number of specific solutions that support HTML5, NDI and compliment Tricaster, OBS and Vmix workflows.

Webinar attendees will learn how Chameleon powers real-time tickers, full frame graphics, and branding elements for streaming applications incorporating up-to-the-second news and information content. To illustrate this, the webinar will examine a recent use case where Chameleon powers real-time graphic insertion into multiple OTT news channels simultaneously.  

Chameleon creates exciting new opportunities for streaming including the production of election coverage. Chameleon’s powerful election results capabilities allows web-based media organizations to track and analyze incoming results, and produce spectacular graphics populated with real-time data. The product’s RESTful API allows data to be redistributed to

social media channels, mobile applications, webpages or to on-set displays. Chameleon can also power fully automated streamed information channels containing news headlines, weather, financial data, emergency alerts and more. 

Real-time data provides producers, engineers, and management working in streaming media with unprecedented ways to tell stories, leverage automation, and expand their reach. Please join Bannister Lake to learn more about these exciting opportunities. To register for the webinar please visit https://bannisterlake.com/webinar-registration/

Cable 14, Hamilton, Ontario Community Channel

Customer: Cable 14 Hamilton

Application: Chameleon

Platform: Chameleon Web and Ross Video XPression

Hamilton, Ontario’s Cable 14 has always been at the forefront of community television innovation. From its origins as a community channel formed as a joint effort of six local cable companies pooling resources, to its pioneering move to HD, to its OTT online presence, Cable 14 has always sought out new ways to engage Hamilton audiences.

Hyper-local television has continued to evolve, and Cable 14 required the next phase of innovation to move beyond the traditional look and feel of a cable community channel. Management understood viewing behavior was changing and wanted to introduce a new approach that would take advantage of real-time data content that resonated with local viewers. At the same time Cable 14 wanted to utilize new ways to promote their content and brand.

To accomplish these goals Cable 14 turned to Bannister Lake’s Chameleon data aggregation and management solution to power multiple real-time data feeds and to drive on-air branding/promo capabilities.

As a kick-off to its 50th anniversary broadcast season, Cable 14 wanted to introduce a new look that took advantage of the dynamic multizone presentation of info channels but focus on real-time content that would be popular with the community. It was crucial that the channel not feel like digital signage, but still maintain the professionalism and editorial credibility of a broadcast channel.

To make this happen Cable 14 used Bannister Lake’s Chameleon to ingest, manage and customize popular data feeds such as local and national sports scores, social media and relevant local and national news stories from local media partners. The Chameleon solution ensured that all the new functionality would be automated with little or no human interaction.

The same instance of Chameleon also provided snipe functionality allowing Cable 14 to run strategic promotional and branding content to guide audiences towards upcoming programs. Chameleon’s traffic system integration, automation and scheduling features were used to automatically refresh and program data content. Chameleon’s tight integration and extensive experience with Ross XPression allowed for a straightforward implementation and high-quality broadcast presentation.

Cable 14’s newfound ability to aggregate multiple locally relevant data sources and present them in a highly attractive and engaging way for their subscribers is directly in line with the community channel’s mission. The results have been spectacular at Cable 14 with audiences reacting positively to both improved editorial content and the updated presentation.

Viewers now have access to up to the minute content and are exposed to promotions of community programming that result in larger audiences and more community involvement. Always innovating, Cable 14 sees enormous potential integrating social media further into hyper-local content providing an important interactive function as well as adding additional content discovery opportunities through more strategic promotions. Chameleon will play an important role in accomplishing these tasks.

 

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon Data Management Solution Powers Hamilton, Ontario-Based Cable 14’s New On-Air Look

Bannister Lake announced today that Cable 14, serving Hamilton, Ontario and surrounding communities, has successfully implemented the company’s Chameleon data management and aggregation solution to control and visualize data content on its broadcasts. Cable 14’s mission is to showcase and promote the local area and to keep viewers informed of local news, sports, and events.

Bannister Lake contributed to Cable 14’s important mission by developing and adding new data readers covering the Canadian University Football League and Ontario Hockey League. Bannister Lake also improved the channel’s ability to manage and visualize Twitter-based content as well as local traffic cameras.

Chameleon’s automation features played a key role in simplifying and streamlining the management of data feeds to help ensure content was continuously refreshed and that stale content automatically expired. Chameleon’s integration with Cable 14’s traffic system now allows the station to provide automated “Coming Up Next” snipes and billboards to promote upcoming programming.

“The Cable 14 implementation underlines our unique abilities to not only develop and read a wide variety of data feeds, but to also allow our clients to take full advantage of automation to optimize those feeds to meet their editorial objectives,” said Danny Ljubisic, director of business development and project management, Bannister Lake. “We were able to deliver this solution to Cable 14 in record time and ensure that their launch was successful.”

Cable 14’s new on-air presentation integrates social media and other local news sources to deliver compelling, hyper-local information that can only be found on its broadcasts. It also includes up-to-date sports scores and schedules from both local and professional sports teams and leagues. 

“As we kick off our 50th broadcast season, Cable 14 continues to evolve and deliver to cable television subscribers the best local content available on television and online,” said Bill Custers, senior manager, broadcast for Cable 14. “Cable 14 has been, is, and always will be, about Hamilton. This innovative, fresh look, facilitated by the Bannister Lake team, enables us to continue to exceed the expectations of our viewers every single hour.”

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon data management and aggregation solution is used by broadcasters, signage operators, and event producers to control and display a wide variety of diverse data feeds including news, sports, elections, financial, and wagering content.

 

 

 

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon: The Other Canadian Champion at the 2019 US Open Tennis Championships

Bianca Andreescu’s spectacular win at the US Open Tennis Championships was an exciting moment for women’s tennis and for the entire country of Canada. As Canadians, we are thrilled for Bianca and excited to have handled the complexities of data management and aggregation for the US Open for the second straight year.

Bannister Lake’s Chameleon is the engine behind organizing the massive number of XML files and graphics that were strategically distributed and visualized on over 20 different video displays located throughout the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center. The various screens were viewed by a record number of 737,872 fans who attended this year’s event.

Real-time data on this scale presents enormous challenges. Bannister Lake’s technical and creative director, Al Savoie and the Bannister Lake development team were faced with reading and ingesting a wide variety of live data feeds from various sources, in various formats, including a new scoring system. The feeds then had to be organized within the Chameleon database and using the solution’s RESTful API distributed to specific screens-all of which had different editorial requirements, various graphical layouts and different dimensions. Some screens were formatted in portrait, some were ribbons, some landscape, and new this year were fascia displays courtside in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Outside of practice courts producers would display upcoming schedules, player biographies, schedules and brackets, however the screens located outside the main stadiums could display subsets of the live action data; serve speeds, number of aces, unforced errors and other game specific data. Producers have come to understand that the signage displays are most engaging and effective when the live data content is relevant and targeted. Due to the nature of the competition, content was often substituted updated and versioned depending on events. Chameleon’s unique strength is the ability to utilize its query and RESTful functionality in tandem, to organize data to create datasets that have a specific editorial function.

Live Chameleon data was quickly called up using a “match ID” system that Savoie was instrumental in developing. This would confirm that the correct headshots, bios and stats would quickly and automatically be loaded with a simple match ID entry. This dramatically sped up workflows, eased pressure on operators in the control room and ensured consistent editorial accuracy.

Like Bianca, Bannister Lake looks forward to the challenges at next year’s US Open and are confident we’ll once again both perform like champions.

 

GT World Tour 2 in Nürburgring

June 21st and 22nd, I took part in season 2’s 2nd World Tour event of Gran Tourismo.  This stop took place at the famous Nürburgring 24h track in Germany. The esport tournament that took place was a relatively small event compared to the main attraction, the 24h ADAC race.  Nonetheless the GT event, went very well with Team Toyota winning the Manufacturer’s Series and Igor Fraga from Brazil went home with the Nations Cup Top Prize.

World Tour 1 took place in Paris in early March with Tour 3, New York happening in August, Tour 4 in Salzburg in September and Tour 5 in Tokyo in October.    That said, the focus of this blog isn’t on the tournament and work itself, but rather the adventure that goes along with it.

We’ll start with the race itself.   Race enthusiasts I’m sure are quite familiar with the ADAC 24h race, but for those who live in a bubble in North America, we might not be aware of this race that takes place over 24 hours in the middle of nowhere Germany.  Some 200,000 people come by to partake in this event, and catch a glimpse of these 200 vehicles driving at 200+ km/h for a full 24 hours.

You can wiki this info, but I’ll provide a Coles Notes version of it.  The race comprises of around 200 vehicles, with a minimum of 2 drivers/maximum 4 drivers participating.  Each allowed to drive for 150 mins with a 120 mins break in between drives. A single lap is around 28km give or take a few meters, and the winner is the team that drives the longest in distance over that 24 hour time period.   Past winner and record holder drive up to 158 laps… which equals driving from Halifax, through Montreal, to New York and finishing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.. Or… driving from NYC to Las Vegas. In 24 hours.

By my calculations, at about 11l/100km… that’s around 440 liters of fuel used per car, totally 89,000 liters of fuel.  And I was told about 200 tires per car are used throughout the tournament depending on conditions. That seems high, but what do I know.   

As I mentioned, there are around 200,000 visitors in attendance, 60,000 parking spaces available, 1.5 million square meters of camping sites, with 146 showers, and 680 mobile toilets positioned around the track.

Because this takes place, pretty much,  in the middle of nowhere, the production staff including myself stayed about 20 mins away at a campground.  Convenient, but with very little nearby in terms of amenities.

The days were long as is usual for this type of production.   But what makes it worth it, most of the time, is the after party. At other tours the after party usually takes place at the tournament’s location.  But for the Nürburgring stop, the party was even further in the middle of nowhere.

About 5 km away from the stands and venue, the crew took a bus to a parking location.  Once there, we arrived at a field 100,000 sq meters in size. We needed to walk to the grounds for about 1km.

Surrounded with thousands of people celebrating, playing discotech music, firing fireworks every few minutes, all the while, fast cars whizzing by every few seconds.

Pure tailgating style partying, along with bbq food was served at our GT chained fenced location, where all the players, organizers were enjoying their time watching the cars go by.  

The always talented DJ Lenny Ibizarre was again the entertainment at this after party offering a wide range of dance music while providing some dance moves of his own.  

DJ Ibizarre. Picture Courtesy of JZ.

I, as always, had a great time with the Boombox crew.  

A thank you to PDI and Kazunori Yamauchi for again, making this tournament happen.

Some people ended up staying late into the wee early morning, but I had to catch a flight at 9:50am in Frankfurt.   By midnight, the race still had 15 ½ hours to go. By the time the race ended, I was already 30,000 ft over Newfoundland.

Corus Entertainment: Driving New Business And Operational Efficiencies With Bannister Lake Software

Corus Entertainment is one of Canada’s largest media and content companies with assets in radio, television and online. The broadcast television side of the company is a mix of over-the-air broadcast stations and specialty cable channels. Like all media organizations, it is observing dramatic shifts in audience viewing habits and in the way advertising dollars are being designated. Corus is responding proactively to address the changing media marketplace, developing innovative technology and content solutions. It is a pioneer in Canada, creating consolidated news production facilities, building a national infrastructure with sophisticated content sharing capabilities and extending their various brands across multiple platforms. Corus also broke new ground in leveraging live data; both as a content source and as a driver of video and content to new platforms. Early on, Corus saw the value that data had as an editorial source that could be extended over its many media properties and as a powerful tool to strategically distribute content.

Data empowers Corus to accomplish two essential things: add significant editorial value to its multiple media properties and secondly, open new market opportunities driving untapped ad revenue. To meet these objectives and take full advantage of their data and content, Corus’ Global News division turned to Bannister Lake, a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for broadcast.

In working with Corus, Bannister Lake focused on three essential data-rich areas: elections, information tickers and creating new media products and services. Across Global News’ broadcast operations, Bannister Lake’s Elector election race software is being used to produce municipal, provincial and federal coverage. Elector allows editorial staff to quickly and effectively filter race results, identify important trends, make race calls and in turn populate and display dynamic election graphics on-air or online.

“Elector has become our go-to software solution for all our election coverage. It works great on municipal, provincial and federal races. Both our editorial and technical staff love its ease of use and quick implementation,” says Gerry Belec, director of news technology and operations at Corus Entertainment.

Across Global News, Bannister Lake powers L-Bars, tickers, and sponsor logos on all the local morning news programs. The key tool Global News uses to make all this possible is Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software. Chameleon provides Global News with a single data/graphics management solution that drives a wide variety of graphic playout devices across the entire Global News organization. By centralizing data through Chameleon, Corus not only realizes operational efficiencies, but also permits broadcast sales to create new media products and sell both national and local sponsorships on all its broadcast tickers. Editorially, Chameleon enables Global News to integrate the widest possible variety of data sources on-air, including social media feeds, financial data, sports scores, closings and atypical feeds such as community events calendars.

Corus foresees Chameleon playing an expanded and valuable role as the media company develops and launches multi-platform solutions, expands online, distributes more content via partnerships and explores innovative media opportunities.

Global News takes advantage of BLADE, Chameleon’s RESTful API feature, allowing them to manage and distribute specific portions of a data feed. With BLADE, Global News can effortlessly direct their content to various output channels including thousands of screens across digital signage networks in multiple cities across Canada. This has fostered new revenue and promotional opportunities for Corus and has dramatically improved brand recognition. BLADE allows Global News to target specific end points strategically with content designated for that output.

Corus and Global News further benefit from Bannister Lake’s development strategy that emphasizes multi-user, web-based solutions while still maintaining high levels of security. Teams from across the country can simultaneously access the solution, load content, query data and create and edit playlists, but only according to their user status. Should unusual operational issues emerge, Bannister Lake’s development team can write custom code resolving the issue.

“We look forward to a long and creative partnership with Corus. We are thrilled that our software and custom services can be plugged into so many aspects of their business”, says Georg Hentsch, Bannister Lake’s founder.

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Bannister Lake’s Alain Savoie to Present at the 2019 NAB Show Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference (BEITC)

Bannister Lake announced today that Alain Savoie, the company’s creative and technical director, will be presenting his co-authored white paper, “New Methodologies in Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management for Broadcast Presentation and Distribution” at the 2019 NAB Show. Along with Savoie, the paper was written by Bannister Lake’s Vernon Freedlander who heads strategic partnerships and the company’s president, Georg Hentsch. The presentation takes place on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center room N260.

Live data, its management and visualization, have become an integral part of the broadcast and visual communications workflow. Whether used in fast-moving, dynamic on-air presentations such as elections, news, sports, eSports, or finance, or to populate and control on-air branding, effective live-data aggregation and management drives efficiencies and creates new monetization possibilities. As broadcasters seek out new revenue streams, live data plays a key role both online and in developing new markets such as streaming and digital signage.

Savoie will be speaking on several important data-related topics that directly impact the broadcast industry. The presentation will focus on unique data-driven engineering and development methodologies, and how broadcasters can take advantage of the data aggregation and management tools and techniques these methodologies foster to create more efficient and automated production workflows. Savoie will also explore how broadcasters can utilize real-time data to create and distribute new revenue-generating products and services. Savoie will use examples from broadcast, eSports, and event signage to illustrate.

Savoie is an industry authority on live-data-driven graphics. He has worked on numerous high-profile broadcast projects integrating data into innovative graphic solutions. At Bannister Lake he is responsible for integrating data feed content into Bannister Lake’s data aggregation and management technology suite and in turn outputting data to on-air graphic systems throughout the broadcast and event ecosystem. Savoie works directly with engineers, designers, editorial teams, and event producers offering training, commissioning, graphic operations, and consultation to meet any data and technical requirement within the production and graphic display workflow.

At the 2019 NAB Show Bannister Lake will be highlighting its flagship data aggregation and graphics management solution, Chameleon. Chameleon provides networks and station groups with unparalleled data aggregation, graphics management, and visualization possibilities. Beyond broadcast, the Chameleon solution is used in multiple data applications: OTT, streaming, digital signage, HTML5, online, and mobile. Chameleon reads, ingests, and manages multiple, diverse data feeds through an advanced web interface, providing users with full control over incoming data. Users can edit, moderate, blend, and manage datasets to generate completely customizable and automated tickers, L-bars, full frame graphics, and branding elements.

Be sure to visit Bannister Lake at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.

Bannister Lake to Highlight New Feature Set and NDI Version of Chameleon Data Aggregation and Graphic Management Solution at 2019 NAB Show

Bannister Lake’s industry-leading data and graphics management solution, Chameleon, will be in the spotlight at the 2019 NAB Show with a focus on the product’s new election, sponsorship, and security functionality.

As broadcasters start planning for the 2020 presidential election, Chameleon boasts improvements to its election race modules, providing producers with more options to ingest and manage result data feeds, referendums, propositions, and acclaimed candidates.

The latest release highlights Chameleon’s ability to drive online, mobile, and social media election experiences by feeding data to web widgets and automatically sending out tweets based on Chameleon data conditions. These exciting features allow producers to utilize Chameleon data to visualize election results interactively, presenting innovative new storytelling possibilities.

A new and improved sponsor module tracks and connects campaigns to specific sponsors, making as-run logging clearer and better defined. Chameleon also includes enhanced security features aligned with NIST guidelines with improved password protection.

Bannister Lake has also focused a great deal of attention on social media, enhancing Chameleon’s Twitter search capabilities and improving the product’s media module, introducing bins for organizing content and the enablement of multi-file uploads.

Product demonstrations will feature projects focused on Bannister Lake’s recent work in elections, eSports, and event signage.

At NAB, Bannister Lake will also be introducing a new version of its Chameleon NDI player, providing NDI users with the ability to fully manage and visualize live data feeds. NDI users will be able to integrate, moderate, and customize multiple live data feeds into graphic templates and provide their audiences with real-time news, weather, sports, social media, financial, and customized data.

As part of NAB’s Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference (BEITC), Al Savoie, Bannister Lake’s creative and technical director, will be presenting his co-authored whitepaper “New Methodologies in Real-Time Data Aggregation and Management for Broadcast Presentation and Distribution.” The interactive session will explore Bannister Lake’s unique approach to data aggregation and feature production examples from both broadcast and eSports. Savoie’s presentation takes place on April 10 at 4 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center room N260.

In addition, NAB attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about Bannister Lake’s Zeus media storage and playout solution. Perfect for image- and clip-intensive production environments, Zeus provides producers with easy and immediate access to content. It is an ideal solution for home shopping channels, entertainment programs, news, sports productions, and any situation where high volume, quick turnaround, and unpredictability of clip and image requirements must be carefully managed. With minimum custom development, Zeus can be fully integrated with popular MAM systems, providing broadcasters with access to vast libraries of clip and image content.

Be sure to visit Bannister Lake at the 2019 NAB Show, Booth SL5616.